There are a variety of reasons people don’t donate blood. A common one is that they don’t have time to do so. On average, one trip to donate blood takes about an hour and 15 minutes depending on how busy the donation center is.
While it’s not necessarily a super quick trip, many people can fit this into their schedule, especially when they consider the impact their donation makes. A single blood donation can help up to three people receive necessary and sometimes life-saving treatment through blood transfusions.
You can find time to make a blood donation by swapping out an activity in your schedule or changing the activity to make it shorter in order to accomplish both.
Here are 10 activities that take longer than donating blood:
- Shopping at the grocery store: If you’re going to the grocery store during peak hours and doing a week’s worth of shopping, chances are you’ll spend more than an hour and 15 minutes there. Consider doing store pickup or delivery to save time – many stores waive fees on your first order.
- Going to the gym: We’re not telling you to avoid exercise, which is a healthy, stress-reducing activity. But instead of doing a longer weight training session one day, consider swapping it for a shorter HIIT workout before heading to donate blood. Make sure you stay hydrated!
- Eating at a restaurant: Dining in at a restaurant typically takes more than an hour when you factor in seating time, ordering, preparation, eating and paying the bill. You don’t have to give up your meal entirely – pick your food up for takeout on the way home.
- Folding the laundry: Depending on how much laundry you have, folding it all can easily take longer than an hour. If you spread out folding over a couple of days, rather than doing it all at once, you can definitely fit in a blood donation.
- Watching TV: This is the case especially if you’re streaming the entire season of your favorite show. Watch one or two fewer episodes to make time for your blood donation.
- Mowing the lawn: Depending on how big your yard is, cutting the grass can easily take about an hour. Unless you’ve been avoiding this for weeks already, it can probably wait another day.
- Washing the car: If you wash your car at home, it can take a while depending on how dirty your car is (we’re not judging). While we understand it’s cheaper to clean it at home, consider taking it to the automatic car wash this once to save time and donate blood.
- Reading a book: Reading is a great activity for both the mind and body. However, many books take longer than an hour to read. Consider bringing your book with you to read while donating blood, or listen to an audiobook during blood collection.
- Shopping online: It’s very easy to get drawn into a rabbit hole of shopping online, whether that’s perusing all the options, finding the best price or doing product research. However, similar to reading, consider either doing this while you’re donating blood or skip online shopping entirely if it isn’t necessary – you may save some money and help someone at the same time.
- Working: Most of us work for more than an hour on a given workday. However, some companies will excuse employees for a short time to do things like donate blood or vote. You can even take this a step further and have them come to you by planning a blood drive at work. Not only will you save yourself the time and effort of driving to the blood donation center, but you can also help more people by encouraging your coworkers to donate as well.
We live in a fast-paced world with plenty of responsibilities vying for our limited time, so finding time to donate blood isn’t always easy. However, your creative thinking or small sacrifice of about an hour and 15 minutes can make a big difference in the lives of other people.
As the American Red Cross experiences its largest blood shortage in more than a decade, please consider finding the closest location and donating blood soon.